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Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

Database of Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages. The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - March 6, 2018 and is updated quarterly.

Instructions: Postings are listed for browsing with the newest messages first. Click on the linked ID number to see a message. You can search the author, subject, message ID, and message content fields by entering your criteria into this search box:

Message ID: 8062
Date: 2009-03-02

Author:Sheri McMahon

Subject:perceptions of child abuse

I came across something I thought was curious (but suspect it reallt isn't).

A large survey of public perceptions of child abuse was done in ND in 2005.

One outcome was that public perception as to frequency of abuse was much

smaller than the official statistics, although actually fairly well in line

with statistics of substantiated physical and sexual abuse. The part I

thought was curious presented an assortment of scenarios with respondents

ask to rate the abusiveness of parent behavior on a scale from 1 to 5.



Ratings were lower for the same parent behavior when the child was described

as having acted out in some way in public, such as in a store, vs. when the

child was described as having the same behavior in a situation not involving

a public setting. Roughly speaking, if there was some kind of public

misbehavior by the child, the average rating was about 2.5 for abusiveness

of parent response, versus a little over 3 when there was no public setting

mentioned.



It just strikes me that there is something going on here--that in a public

setting misbehavior by a child is regarded as somewhat less tolerable, and

somewhat more deserving of punishment--even if the punishment is still

regarded as abusive to some degree. The report on this survey does not

discuss this particular result or possible implications. I'm just wondering

if this is something anybody has noticed elsewhere.



Sheri McMahon







I came across something I thought was curious (but suspect it reallt isn't).

A large survey of public perceptions of child abuse was done in ND in 2005.

One outcome was that public perception as to frequency of abuse was much

smaller than the official statistics, although actually fairly well in line

with statistics of substantiated physical and sexual abuse. The part I

thought was curious presented an assortment of scenarios with respondents

ask to rate the abusiveness of parent behavior on a scale from 1 to 5.



Ratings were lower for the same parent behavior when the child was described

as having acted out in some way in public, such as in a store, vs. when the

child was described as having the same behavior in a situation not involving

a public setting. Roughly speaking, if there was some kind of public

misbehavior by the child, the average rating was about 2.5 for abusiveness

of parent response, versus a little over 3 when there was no public setting

mentioned.



It just strikes me that there is something going on here--that in a public

setting misbehavior by a child is regarded as somewhat less tolerable, and

somewhat more deserving of punishment--even if the punishment is still

regarded as abusive to some degree. The report on this survey does not

discuss this particular result or possible implications. I'm just wondering

if this is something anybody has noticed elsewhere.



Sheri McMahon